The Market  |  By Laura Beach

Seen and Heard

March 19, 2014  |  ART FAIR OVERLOAD?

With the show season in full swing, "collectors are heading into the fray this year with a serious case of art-fair overload," Kelly Crow posits in the Wall Street Journal here and here.

Crow says "at least 200 large fairs now jam the art-world calendar-complete with attendant parties and smaller satellite fairs in tow." Before anyone could actually ponder the consequences of perpetual motion it was time to be off again, from the Art Fair and the Armory Show in New York to the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht, The Netherlands, then back to NewYork for Asia Week, all in the space of two weeks in March.


Preliminary reports are in for the European Fine Art Fair, which organizers say attracted over 10,000 private and institutional collectors from around the world for the most successful opening day in its history.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a c. 1690 parcel-gilt ostrich ewer and basin from J. Kugel Antiquaires, Paris. Sold by Daniel Crouch Rare Books, London, a pair of seventeenth century globes by Willem Blaue will go on view at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

(Above: The TEFAF booth of Cohen and Cohen, London)


The market for Twentieth Century design made news at TEFAF, which dedicated its third annual symposium to the subject. The March 14 program can be streamed here.

In what was perhaps a first, New York dealers Sebastian + Barquet of New York exhibited works by American designers Paul Evans, Philip Lloyd Powell and George Nakashima.


TEFAF also issued its annual art market report for 2014. Prepared by economist Clare McAndrew, it finds that global sales of art and antiques reached €47.4 billion in 2013, led by a 25% increase in the value of sales in the United States, which regained its position as market leader. Other key findings of the report are posted here.


Anthony Crichton-Stuart, former head of Christie's Old Master Paintings department in New York and a past director of Noortman Master Paintings, will direct Agnew's, the 197 year old firm that closed its Albemarle Street gallery in London last year. London's Antiques Trade Gazette and The Telegraph report that Crichton-Stuart was approached by Agnew's new owners, led by Boston collector and investor Cliff Schorer.

London's National Gallery acquired Agnew's substantial archive for £240,000, the Gazette reports.

David J. Skorton has been named the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, effective July 2015. A cardiologist, Dr. Skorton is currently president of Cornell University. In his new post, he will lead a museum system with an annual budget of $1.3 billion.

Beatrice Galilee has been named associate curator of architecture and design, a new position within the Metropolitan Museum of Art's department of modern and contemporary art. Department chairman Sheena Wagstaff said Galilee's appointment was part of the Met's broader plans to expand into the Whitney Museum of American Art's Marcel Breuer designed premises at Madison and 75th Street in New York in 2015.

Peter Warzel has been named executive director of the Historic Santa Fe Foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The former Denver resident recently served as a consultant for the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation.

Peter Lang has joined Doyle New York as senior vice president and director of important English and Continental furniture and decorations. He held positions at Gurr Johns, an international art appraisal and art advisory firm, and at Sotheby's, where he directed the English furniture department between 1999 until 2010.

Matthew S. Wilcox has rejoined Freeman's Auctioneers and Appraisers. He will direct the Philadelphia firm's expansion in Washington D.C. and the lower mid-Atlantic region. William A. Rudd will represent the company in the Midwest. Michael Larsen is Freeman's new head of fine jewelry and watches.

Christie's Asia Pacific has named Eric Chang deputy chairman of Asian twentieth century and contemporary artBen Kong, deputy chairman of Chinese paintings; and Vickie Sek, deputy chairman of jewelry and Jadeite.Jinqing Cai will serve as president of Christie's China while Rebecca Weiwill hold the position of president of Christie's Asia excluding China. In making the announcement, Christie's Asia Pacific chairman François Curielnoted his company's "ambitious and creative plans for this key region in today's global market."

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